Friday, November 07, 2008

As you sow...



Rat a tat tat! I woke up to the sound of the door knocker and peeked out of the bedroom window, the shiny red post van was parked in the drive, again. Parcels and packages have been flying in from all over the world; portuguese grammar books from specialist London bookshops, CDs from Portugal and DVDs from Brazil. 'It's for you' I told Lurch, but he had already bounded downstairs to answer the door and unwrap his latest order. The elementary evening course is getting out of hand. I am about to commit Lurchicide. 'How do you pronounce cidades dos homems?' he asked, studying a DVD with intensity. I told him. A small furrow wrinkled his earnest brow 'I don't think Felipa said it like that', he then gave me his version, delivered in a forceful, swishing nasal twang. 'Has Felipa asked you if you come from Minsk, Belarus? And don't ask me again if you think you know best already. I told you I haven't studied portuguese for 20 years...' 'Ok, ok, I was only checking' Lurch sighed.

I am interested but Lurch is incapable of half measures. To humour him I asked him about the other people on the course. 'It's an odd mix' he said 'half of them are single women about your age and oddly enough the others are fifty something men who are married to Brazilian women. Felipa keeps asking them why their wives aren't teaching them at home, I can't understand it, they just look at the floor and don't answer her'.
I can and I was off on one of my favourite rants: Modern Day Slavery. I see these Youth Stealers in Sainsburys, miserable, grey haired paunchy men, being followed by tiny beautiful Thai, Russian or Brazilian wives, staring dispiritedly at the shelves through the bars of their supermarket trolleys, loaded with beer and cleaning fluids. I cannot believe that the practice of buying a wife on the internet is legal. I usually give the men a hard stare to show my disapproval. Lurch says it is none of my business and I am in no position to judge, both parties deem it a fair exchange etc etc but it just does not feel right to me. So, from Ipanema to Ilkley Moor. I explained to Lurch that the reason the Brazilian brides did not talk to their husbands was because they already had to do unmentionable things with them and a conversation with the Youth Stealers may very well push them right over the edge.


However, I don't want to risk alienating my two male readers so I'll desist with the rant. We start the day with a quick recap of the night before's pronunciation exercise. Danny Boy and The Terminator stare at Lurch over breakfast, incomprehension and bewilderment etched on their sleep-rumpled faces. The volume and nasal twang seem deafening at this time of day. We go to work and then when we arrive home the DVD goes on - 'Cidades dos homems' as I mispronounced earlier - a gritty soap opera about teenagers set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, made ever more difficult to understand because Lurch repeats everything like an exotic parrot in need of a hearing aid. Then to bed where he rustles the papers of his homework, once again asking me how to pronounce things and subsequently correcting me. It can only be a matter of time before Felipa moves him up to the next level, probably at the request of the rest of the class.

12 comments:

Mud in the City said...

I agree with you about Youth Stealers. I get flyers through my letter box asking if I'd like a Filipina. What I'm supposed to do with her I'm not entirely sure!

Adventure Mother said...

I am amazed at your patience. I could not keep a straight face at the mispronounciation or put up with the rustle of papers at bedtime!

Angela said...

As soon as you also know Portuguese I will ask you to translate my Mozambiquan letters! So beware! But have you ever tried to learn Polish? Przepraszam means excuse me and wdziecznosc thankfulness. So shouldn`t you be thankful to learn just simple Portuguese?! About those youth stealers I totally agree. They are here in Germany too, mostly the fat ugly guys! Arrgh!
Thanks for your sweet comment on mine!

Casdok said...

Shame about the rant - it would have been good im sure!!

rosiero said...

Had to laugh at the exotic parrot in need of a hearing aid and the rustle of papers at bedtime. He sounds like he has got it bad. On the good side you might get a holiday in Portugal out of it!!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Aw bless him - all that effort. Better that than him chasing a bit of young Phillipino skirt though eh?!

The Dotterel said...

Don't desist on my account. I'm with you all the way on mail-ordere wives (and Eastern European 'au pairs').

Lori ann said...

I can't imagine my husband learning a new language. I agree that a trip to Portugal sounds like a wonderful idea.
xx

Stinking Billy said...

mama, who is your other male reader - I demand to know? And what is behind the spider's web in that picture? You are becoming more mysterious than Rachel (leatherdykeuk)!

KittyB said...

Definitely work in a trip to Portugal. You can relax and drink wine while Lurch goes to language school and immerses himself in the language. You can immerse yourself in a pool or the sea. Much preferable.

(Very) Lost in France said...

BTM - I know what you mean about the mail order brides. It makes me feel faintly queasy when I see them. Did you ever see that documentary on the guy in Thailand who ran the mail order bride business? Gruesome! I have a friend who's brother is married to a lovely Thai girl. Her brother is actually young and attractive but his poor wife barely speaks English. What on earth do they talk about - or am I being naive?! VLiF

cheshire wife said...

I imagine that trying to teach your wife a language would be like trying to teach her to drive which probably makes it the short cut to divorce.

Maybe these fifty something men are learning Portugese on the quiet to surprise their wives. I have not noticed that we have any aroud here. Or maybe they go shopping at a different time to me.